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Are you thinking BIG?

Updated: May 30, 2018

If you are in Atlantic City, NJ next week, August 20- 24, you may become aware of a noticeable influx of tourists armed with lanyards and government issued computers.

Yes, it’s that time of year again when nearly one thousand federal workers descend on a prime location for four straight days of networking, professional and personal development, and camaraderie. For those of you that don’t know, I am talking about the 2017 Black’s In Government National Training Institute conference (BIG NTI).

To mark the 39th annual event, hosted at the Harrah’s Resort, organizers opted for an entertainment hub that boasts sprawling convention centers, salt-water taffy, and the glitz and glamour of casino nightlife. The schedule offers an all-star lineup of high ranking African American key note speakers that have not only broken the racial barrier, they steam rolled it.

So why am I so excited and sounding off the alarms?

This year I will be representing my business Sidnae Global Research and hoping to give a few free one-on-one sessions with scholarship seekers and nonprofit startups. Yes, a little self-serving, I know. However, I honestly cannot wait to set out my table and talk with amazing professionals from all over the US.

You meet the most inspiring people at these events, and sometimes you may even make a forever connection. Everyone comes to BIG NTI with a different goal. You will leave with a few new friends. Or at the very least, rack up the CEUs (continuing education units), score free swag, and learn new skills to shine up the resume.

How do I know?

This is not my first time at the rodeo show. Back when I was a humble civil servant in the US EPA’s Brownfields office, I had the chance to go when a coworker could not attend. To be honest, I was a little intimidated by the name. I mean, I’m already one of a few brown faces in the “majority” dominated field of environmental policy. Did I really want to draw

more awareness to my kinky hair and Nubian skin?

Well, I just could not turn this one down, because of the unmatched opportunity for growth. The event was also hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada. Yes, there I go being self-serving again.

But wow. I was amazed at the richness of the sessions I attended.

I took public speaking classes from world renowned Toastmasters. I learned the art of networking for people that hate to network. I also learned how to be a boss from women that paved the way in male dominated industries. I met people from all occupations, seasoned and green, black and white and every shade/ ethnicity in between. I also fulfilled a majority of my COTR (contracting officer technical representative) training requirements.

I had fun too, saw a few shows and lost a little money.

If you will not be there, let this be the last year you pass up this great opportunity. Please do not let those training dollars go to waste! If you will be at the 2017 BIG NTI conference, I look forward to meeting you. I will be representing in booth 308, click here to set aside 30 min to meet with me.

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